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I joined the board of the Society for Participatory Medicine (sorry, I have to shorten it to SPM) about one year ago. I joined because I honestly think health care is f$#%#’ed up and I want to make a difference. We all agree about the problems, but my views on the solutions are different and SPM aligns with those views.

I’ve had a lot of conversations on what the fix looks like (#WTFix). They generally range from “nothing will change without legislature” to “Pharma is evil and funding everything” to “there’s too much legacy”. All are true. But you know what the real truth is?  NOTHING WILL CHANGE WITHOUT US BEING INVOLVED.

Who’s the us, you might ask? All of us. Patients, caregivers, doctors, nurses, reiki practitioners, acupuncturists, naturopaths, financial advisors, spouses, massage therapists, basically every single person who can impact how you are feeling, including your stress levels and emotions, and your physical body.

And that’s why I joined SPM – and then its board. Because the focus is on putting the “YOU” back in healthcare (I know, but just go with me on it). It’s about you, and all about you. What do you need, how do you get better. There is no one size fits all, we are all very much individuals. That’s why you are the critical piece of health and health care. And the society was built around you. Yes, I don’t love the word “participatory,”, but it certainly describes what we want health care to be.

And that brings me to this year’s event. Our 2nd and most ambitious ever. (Info and registration here.) We have amazing speakers who are going to tell us incredible stories.

We will be talking patients, we will be talking care, we will be talking about our data, and we will hear from a guy who took on the system and invented his own surgery.  And you know what the focus of the afternoon is? IT’S YOU!!!!!

We don’t believe that we know everything we need to know. We need you to help us shape the world. Every conference tries to be more “interactive”, but we actually will be. You are going to articulate for us (and with us) what Participatory Medicine means. And when we all come to a collective view, we are going to publish it as a manifesto shout it from the rooftops!

So please attend. You will meet new people, make new friends, see old friends, and come together to fix this f$%(*$&’ing mess we call health care!

If you have any questions or want to chat about anything, please reach out. @burtrosen on twitter or

Interested in Joining Us in Boston?

Learn more about SPM’s second annual conference on Oct. 17 in Boston or register here today ($100 for members/$150 for non-members).